Thursday, July 30, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS AND DAN CHURCHILL'S "THE HEALTHY COOK" FLOURLESS BANANA BREAD RECIPE


Yesterday I finally caught up on the final of Masterchef Australia's seventh season. It was a bittersweet moment for me, for although I am a huge fan of the show; sixty-two episodes later I can finally put that series to bed and finally watch something else. See, a show like Masterchef Australia takes over your evenings and whilst you are happy to become obsessed with each of the contestants and the challenges they face daily; its a huge commitment and sometimes you want to just get to the end and find out who wins. 

Now the main prize this year was insane, but not every winner goes on to become big and famous. Over the years some of the most successful contestants have barely made it into the top five. Daniel Churchill made it to eighth place in season five of the show and since then has become one of the most successful celebrity cooks in recent years. Recently returning from the states, Churchill has two books under his belt so far, The Healthy Cook (2014) and Dude Food (2015). Before returning back to Ireland in December, I made sure to pick up a copy of The Healthy Cook as I was keen to incorporate some healthier dishes into my diet and this guys seriously practices what he preaches. 

One of the hardest things for me to avoid are desserts and treats (especially in the evening time) and I have a massive sweet tooth. Over the years I lived in Melbourne, I couldn't help but order banana bread whenever I went out for breakfast. Lets not try and fool anyone here, banana bread is by no means healthy, especially when you order it from McCafe or toasted with a side of maple cinnamon butter. Agh, yes I can hear a collective sigh from all of you wishing you had a slice of that right in front of you. The smell of freshly baked banana bread in the morning is a thing of joy and an Aussie tradition for those looking for a little sweetness in the morning. With that, Dan decided to create his own healthy(ier) version of this Aussie staple. 


I recently made this with great success, having enough to last me for a few days (which is rare in our household) and with a lot of people having a sweet tooth like myself; I wanted to share it with you all. 

Ingredients:

3 Bananas 
3 eggs, separated 
2 tbsp honey (or agave if you have it)
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I put extra in as I love the taste)
1 tsp all spice
1 cup of sifted almond meal
1 tsp chia seeds

Cooking Steps:

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. 

Halve a banana length ways and set one piece aside. With the remaining 2 and a half bananas, slice them and with the back of a fork mash them. Don't completely mash them, leave them with some chunks (its always a thrill finding a nice big piece banana in your slice).

Whisk the eggs yolks with the honey until they are nice n' smooth. Add the mashed banana, cinnamon, chia seeds and all spice and combine. 

Using an electric mixer, whisk your egg whites and keep doing so until they are light, fluffy and you are able to turn the bowl upside down over your head within them moving. Then add in the egg yolk mixture, a third at a time and combine nicely without over beating them. You want to try keep as much air in there as possible. 

Add the almond meal and fold through to achieve a nice cake batter consistency. Grab your baking dish and make sure to grease the inside (this ensures that the banana bread won't stick to the dish and it will come out of the dish easily). 

Place the remaining piece of banana that had been set aside earlier on top of the cake batter and then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. 

What comes out is light, indulgent and you don't have to worry about the calories you find in traditional banana bread as this one is much, much cleaner. 

For more information on Daniel, make sure to check out his website here.  

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